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  1. ABSTRACT

    We present multi-epoch spectropolarimetry of Type IIn supernova SN2017hcc, 16–391 d after explosion. Continuum polarization up to 6 per cent is observed during the first epoch, making SN 2017hcc the most intrinsically polarized SN ever reported at visible wavelengths. During the first 29 d, when the polarization is strongest, the continuum polarization exhibits wavelength dependence that rises toward the blue, then becomes wavelength independent by day 45. The polarization drops rapidly during the first month, even as the flux is still climbing to peak brightness. None the less, unusually high polarization is maintained until day 68, at which point the polarization declines to levels comparable to those of previous well-studied SNe IIn. Only minor changes in position angle (PA) are measured throughout the evolution. The blue slope of the polarized continuum and polarized line emission during the first month suggests that an aspherical distribution of dust grains in pre-shock circumstellar material (CSM) is echoing the SN IIn spectrum and strongly influencing the polarization, while the subsequent decline during the wavelength-independent phase appears consistent with electron scattering near the SN/CSM interface. The persistence of the PA between these two phases suggests that the pre-existing CSM responsible for the dust scattering at early times is part of the same geometric structure as the electron-scattering region that dominates the polarization at later times. SN 2017hcc appears to be yet another, but more extreme, case of aspherical yet well-ordered CSM in Type IIn SNe, possibly resulting from pre-SN mass-loss shaped by a binary progenitor system.

     
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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 27, 2024
  3. Abstract

    We present six epochs of optical spectropolarimetry of the Type II supernova (SN) 2023ixf ranging from ∼2 to 15 days after the explosion. Polarimetry was obtained with the Kast double spectrograph on the Shane 3 m telescope at Lick Observatory, representing the earliest such observations ever captured for an SN. We observe a high continuum polarizationpcont≈ 1% on days +1.4 and +2.5 before dropping to 0.5% on day +3.5, persisting at that level up to day +14.5. Remarkably, this change coincides temporally with the disappearance of highly ionized “flash” features. The decrease of the continuum polarization is accompanied by a ∼70° rotation of the polarization position angle (PA) as seen across the continuum. The early evolution of the polarization may indicate different geometric configurations of the electron-scattering atmosphere as seen before and after the disappearance of the emission lines associated with highly ionized species (e.g., Heii, Civ, and Niii), which are likely produced by elevated mass loss shortly prior to the SN explosion. We interpret the rapid change of polarization and PA from days +2.5 to +4.5 as the time when the SN ejecta emerge from the dense asymmetric circumstellar material (CSM). The temporal evolution of the continuum polarization and the PA is consistent with an aspherical SN explosion that exhibits a distinct geometry compared to the CSM. The rapid follow-up spectropolarimetry of SN 2023ixf during the shock ionization phase reveals an exceptionally asymmetric mass-loss process leading up to the explosion.

     
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  4. ABSTRACT

    We present new spectroscopic and photometric follow-up observations of the known sample of extreme coronal line-emitting galaxies (ECLEs) identified in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). With these new data, observations of the ECLE sample now span a period of two decades following their initial SDSS detections. We confirm the non-recurrence of the iron coronal line signatures in five of the seven objects, further supporting their identification as the transient light echoes of tidal disruption events (TDEs). Photometric observations of these objects in optical bands show little overall evolution. In contrast, mid-infrared (MIR) observations show ongoing long-term declines consistent with power-law decay. The remaining two objects had been classified as active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with unusually strong coronal lines rather than being TDE related, given the persistence of the coronal lines in earlier follow-up spectra. We confirm this classification, with our spectra continuing to show the presence of strong, unchanged coronal line features and AGN-like MIR colours and behaviour. We have constructed spectral templates of both subtypes of ECLE to aid in distinguishing the likely origin of newly discovered ECLEs. We highlight the need for higher cadence, and more rapid, follow-up observations of such objects to better constrain their properties and evolution. We also discuss the relationships between ECLEs, TDEs, and other identified transients having significant MIR variability.

     
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  5. ABSTRACT

    We analyse photometric observations of the supernova (SN) impostor SN 2000ch in NGC 3432 covering the time since its discovery. This source was previously observed to have four outbursts in 2000–2010. Observations now reveal at least three additional outbursts in 2004–2007, and 16 outbursts in 2010–2022. Outburst light curves are irregular and multipeaked, exhibiting a wide variety of peak magnitude, duration, and shape. The outbursts after 2008 repeat with a period of 200.7 ± 2 d, while the outburst in 2000 seems to match with a shorter period. The next outburst should occur around January/February 2023. We propose that these periodic eruptions arise from violent interaction around times of periastron in an eccentric binary system, similar to the periastron encounters of η Carinae leading up to its Great Eruption, and resembling the erratic pre-SN eruptions of SN 2009ip. We attribute the irregularity of the eruptions to the interplay between the orbit and the variability of the luminous blue variable (LBV) primary star, wherein each successive periastron pass may have a different intensity or duration due to the changing radius and mass-loss rate of the LBV-like primary. Such outbursts may occasionally be weak or undetectable if the LBV is relatively quiescent at periastron but can be much more extreme when the LBV is active. The observed change in orbital period may be a consequence of mass lost in outbursts. Given the similarity to the progenitor of SN 2009ip, SN 2000ch deserves continued attention in the event it is headed for a stellar merger or an SN-like explosion.

     
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  6. ABSTRACT

    We report on analysis using the JWST to identify a candidate progenitor star of the Type II-plateau (II-P) supernova SN 2022acko in the nearby, barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300. To our knowledge, our discovery represents the first time JWST has been used to localize a progenitor system in pre-explosion archival Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images. We astrometrically registered a JWST NIRCam image from 2023 January, in which the SN was serendipitously captured, to pre-SN HST F160W and F814W images from 2017 and 2004, respectively. An object corresponding precisely to the SN position has been isolated with reasonable confidence. That object has a spectral energy distribution (SED) and overall luminosity consistent with a single-star model having an initial mass possibly somewhat less than the canonical 8 M⊙ theoretical threshold for core collapse (although masses as high as 9 M⊙ for the star are also possible); however, the star’s SED and luminosity are inconsistent with that of a super-asymptotic giant branch star that might be a forerunner of an electron-capture SN. The properties of the progenitor alone imply that SN 2022acko is a relatively normal SN II-P, albeit most likely a low-luminosity one. The progenitor candidate should be confirmed with follow-up HST imaging at late times, when the SN has sufficiently faded. This potential use of JWST opens a new era of identifying SN progenitor candidates at high spatial resolution.

     
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  7. Abstract Here we present 1701 light curves of 1550 unique, spectroscopically confirmed Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) that will be used to infer cosmological parameters as part of the Pantheon+ SN analysis and the Supernovae and H 0 for the Equation of State of dark energy distance-ladder analysis. This effort is one part of a series of works that perform an extensive review of redshifts, peculiar velocities, photometric calibration, and intrinsic-scatter models of SNe Ia. The total number of light curves, which are compiled across 18 different surveys, is a significant increase from the first Pantheon analysis (1048 SNe), particularly at low redshift ( z ). Furthermore, unlike in the Pantheon analysis, we include light curves for SNe with z < 0.01 such that SN systematic covariance can be included in a joint measurement of the Hubble constant ( H 0 ) and the dark energy equation-of-state parameter ( w ). We use the large sample to compare properties of 151 SNe Ia observed by multiple surveys and 12 pairs/triplets of “SN siblings”—SNe found in the same host galaxy. Distance measurements, application of bias corrections, and inference of cosmological parameters are discussed in the companion paper by Brout et al., and the determination of H 0 is discussed by Riess et al. These analyses will measure w with ∼3% precision and H 0 with ∼1 km s −1 Mpc −1 precision. 
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  8. ABSTRACT Detailed spectropolarimetric studies may hold the key to probing the explosion mechanisms and the progenitor scenarios of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). We present multi-epoch spectropolarimetry and imaging polarimetry of SN 2019ein, an SN Ia showing high expansion velocities at early phases. The spectropolarimetry sequence spans from ∼−11 to +10 d relative to peak brightness in the B band. We find that the level of the continuum polarization of SN 2019ein, after subtracting estimated interstellar polarization, is in the range 0.0–0.3 per cent, typical for SNe Ia. The polarization position angle remains roughly constant before and after the SN light-curve peak, implying that the inner regions share the same axisymmetry as the outer layers. We observe high polarization (∼1 per cent) across both the Si ii λ6355 and Ca ii near-infrared triplet features. These two lines also display complex polarization modulations. The spectropolarimetric properties of SN 2019ein rule out a significant departure from spherical symmetry of the ejecta for up to a month after the explosion. These observations disfavour merger-induced and double-detonation models for SN 2019ein. The imaging polarimetry shows weak evidence for a modest increase in polarization after ∼20 d since the B-band maximum. If this rise is real and is observed in other SNe Ia at similar phases, we may have seen, for the first time, an aspherical interior similar to what has been previously observed for SNe IIP. Future polarization observations of SNe Ia extending to post-peak epochs will help to examine the inner structure of the explosion. 
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  9. Abstract

    We combine our dynamical modeling black-hole mass measurements from the Lick AGN Monitoring Project 2016 sample with measured cross-correlation time lags and line widths to recover individual scale factors,f, used in traditional reverberation-mapping analyses. We extend our sample by including prior results from Code for AGN Reverberation and Modeling of Emission Lines (caramel) studies that have utilized our methods. Aiming to improve the precision of black-hole mass estimates, as well as uncover any regularities in the behavior of the broad-line region (BLR), we search for correlations betweenfand other AGN/BLR parameters. We find (i) evidence for a correlation between the virial coefficientlog10(fmean,σ)and black-hole mass, (ii) marginal evidence for a similar correlation betweenlog10(frms,σ)and black-hole mass, (iii) marginal evidence for an anticorrelation of BLR disk thickness withlog10(fmean,FWHM)andlog10(frms,FWHM), and (iv) marginal evidence for an anticorrelation of inclination angle withlog10(fmean,FWHM),log10(frms,σ), andlog10(fmean,σ). Last, we find marginal evidence for a correlation between line-profile shape, when using the root-mean-square spectrum,log10(FWHM/σ)rms, and the virial coefficient,log10(frms,σ), and investigate how BLR properties might be related to line-profile shape usingcaramelmodels.

     
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  10. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The ejecta velocity is a very important parameter in studying the structure and properties of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) and is a candidate key parameter in improving the utility of SNe Ia for cosmological distance determinations. Here, we study the velocity distribution of a sample of 311 SNe Ia from the kaepora data base. The velocities are derived from the Si ii λ6355 absorption line in optical spectra measured at (or extrapolated to) the time of peak brightness. We statistically show that the observed velocity has a bimodal Gaussian distribution (population ratio 201:110 or 65 per cent:35 per cent) consisting of two groups of SNe Ia: Group I with a lower but narrower scatter ($11\, 000 \pm 700\, \mathrm{km\, s}^{-1}$), and Group II with a higher but broader scatter ($12\, 300 \pm 1800\, \mathrm{km\, s}^{-1}$). The true origin of the two components is unknown. Naturally, there could exist two intrinsic velocity distributions observed. However, we try to use asymmetric geometric models through statistical simulations to reproduce the observed distribution assuming that all SNe Ia share the same intrinsic distribution. In the two cases we consider, 35 per cent of SNe Ia are considered to be asymmetric in Case 1, and all SNe Ia are asymmetric in Case 2. Simulations for both cases can reproduce the observed velocity distribution but require a significantly large portion ($\gt 35{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$) of SNe Ia to be asymmetric. In addition, the Case 1 result is consistent with recent SNe Ia polarization observations that higher Si ii λ6355 velocities tend to be more polarized. 
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